Category Archives: Housing

The Cycle That Has Been Saving Home Buyers $3,000 Per Year Just Ran Out Of Fuel

Summary

  • After five years of supporting rising home prices, the latest phase of a long-term financial cycle is nearing its end.
  • While little followed in the real estate market, this cycle of yield curve spread compression has been one of the largest determinants of home affordability and housing prices.
  • Using a detailed analysis of national statistics, it is demonstrated that average home buyers in 2018 have been saving about $250 per month, or $3,000 per year.
  • The reasons why the cycle is ending are mathematically and visually demonstrated.

(Daniel Amerian) Home buyers in every city and state have been benefiting from a powerful financial cycle for almost five years. Most people are not aware of this cycle, but it has lowered the average monthly mortgage payment for home buyers on a national basis by about $250 per month since the end of 2013.

The interest rate cycle in question is one of “yield curve spread” expansion and compression, with yield curve spreads being the difference between long-term and short-term interest rates. This interest rate spread has been going through a compression phase in its ongoing cycle, meaning that the gap between long-term interest rates and short-term interest rates fell sharply in recent years.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411612062108982.jpg

The green bars in the graph above show national average mortgage payments (principal and interest only), and they fell from $861 a month in 2013 to $809 a month in 2016 and have now risen to $894 per month. However, without the narrowing of the spread between short-term rates and long-term rates, mortgage payments would have been entirely different (and likely home prices as well).

Without the cycle of yield curve spread compression then, as shown with the blue bars, average mortgage payments would have been above $900 per month even in 2014, and they would have risen every year since without exception. If it had not been for compression, national average mortgage payments would have reached $978 per month in 2016 (instead of $809) and then $1,138 per month in 2018 (instead of $894).

The yellow bars show the average monthly savings for everyone buying a home during the years from 2014 to 2018. The monthly reduction in mortgage payments has risen from $57 per month in 2014 to $169 per month in 2016, to $244 per month by 2018 (through the week of October 11th).

In other words, the average home buyer in the U.S. in 2018 is saving almost $3,000 per year in mortgage payments because of this little-known cycle, even if they’ve never heard of the term “yield curve.” Indeed, while the particulars vary by location, home affordability, home prices and disposable household income have been powerfully impacted in each of the years shown by this interest rate cycle, in every city and neighborhood across the nation.

While knowledge of this cyclical cash flow engine has not been necessary for home buyers (and sellers) to enjoy these benefits in previous years, an issue has developed over the course of 2018 – the “fuel” available to power the engine has almost run out. That means that mortgage payments, home affordability and housing prices could be traveling a quite different path in the months and years ahead.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411612537910333.jpg

The yield curve spread is shown in the blue area above, and it was quite wide at the beginning of this particular cycle, equaling 2.62% as of the beginning of 2014. It has been steadily used up since that time, however, with the compression of the spread being shown in red. As of the current time, the yield curve compression which has powered the reduction in mortgage payments has almost maxed out, the blue area is almost gone and the ability to further compress (absent an inversion) is almost over.

This analysis is part of a series of related analyses; an overview of the rest of the series is linked here.

(More information on the data sources and calculations supporting the summary numbers above can be found in the rest of series, as well as in the more detailed analysis below. A quick summary is that mortgage rates are from the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Treasury yields are from the Federal Reserve, the national median home sale price is from Zillow for the year 2017 and the assumed mortgage LTV is 80%.)

A Cyclical Home Buyer Savings Engine

A yield curve spread is the difference in yields between short-term and long-term investments, and the most common yield curve measure the markets looks to is the difference between the 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields.

An introduction to what yield curves are and why they matter can be found in the analysis “A Remarkably Accurate Warning Indicator For Economic And Market Perils.” As can be seen in the graph below and as is explored in more detail in some of the linked analyses, there is a very long history of yield curve spreads expanding and compressing as part of the overall business cycle of economic expansions and recessions, as well as the related Federal Reserve cycles of increasing and decreasing interest rates.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-1541161506247822.jpg

Since the beginning of 2014, the rapid shrinkage of the blue area shows the current compression cycle, and a resemblance (in broad strokes) can be seen with the compression cycles of 1992-2000 and of 2003-2006.

What has seized the attention of the markets in recent months is what followed next in some previous cycles, which is that yield curve spreads went to zero and then became negative, creating “inversions” where short-term yields are higher than long-term yields (as shown in the golden areas). This is important because, while such inversions are quite uncommon, when they do occur they have had a perfect record in recent decades (over the last 35 years) of being followed by economic recessions within about 1-2 years.

However, yield curves don’t have to actually invert in order to turn the markets upside down, and as explored in the analysis linked here, when the Fed goes through cycles of increasing interest rates, we have a long-term history of yield curve spreads acting as a counter cyclical “shock absorber” and shielding long-term interest rates and bond prices from the Fed actions.

That only works until the “shock absorber” is used up, however, and as of the end of the third quarter of 2018, the yield curve “shock absorber” has been almost entirely used up. So, when the Fed increased short-term rates in late September of 2018, there was almost no buffer, and that increase passed straight through to 10-year Treasury yields. The results were painful for bond prices, stock prices and even the value of emerging market currencies.

The same lack of compression led to a sudden and sharp leap to the highest mortgage rates in seven years. Unfortunately, that jump may also potentially be just a taste of what could be on the way, with little further room for the yield curve to compress (without inverting).

Understanding The Relationships Between Mortgage Rates, Treasury Yields and Yield Curve Spreads

The graphic below shows weekly yields for Fed Funds, 2-year Treasuries, 10-year Treasuries and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages since the beginning of 2014.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-1541161602671874.jpg

The first relationship is the visually obvious close correlation between the top purple line of mortgage rates and the green line of 10-year Treasury yields. Mortgage amortization and prepayments mean that most mortgage principal is returned to investors well before the 30-year term of the mortgage, and therefore, investors typically price those mortgage rates at a spread (the distance between the green and purple lines) above 10-year Treasury yields. It isn’t a perfect relationship – the 10-year Treasury tends to be a bit more volatile – but is a close one.

The bottom two lines are the short-term yields, with the yellow line being effective overnight Fed Funds rates, and the red line being 2-year Treasury yields. Because the yield curve has been positive over the entire time period shown (as it almost always is), long-term rates have consistently been higher than short-term rates, and 10-year Treasury yields have been higher than 2-year Treasury yields, which have been higher than Fed Funds rates.

Now, the long-term rates have been moving together, and while the relationship is not quite as close, the short-term rates have also been generally moving together, with the 2-year Treasury yield more or less moving up with the Fed’s cycle of increasing interest rates (each “step” in the yellow staircase is another 0.25% increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve).

However, the long-term rates have not been moving with the short-term rates. As can be seen with point “D,” 10-year Treasury yields were 3.01% at the beginning of 2014, 2-year Treasury yields were a mere 0.39% and the yield curve spread – the difference between the yields – was a very wide 2.62%.

About a year later, by late January of 2015 (point “E”), 10-year Treasury yields had fallen to 1.77%, while 2-year Treasury yields had climbed to 0.51%. The yield curve spread – the distance between the green and red lines – had narrowed to only 1.26%, or a little less than half of the previous 2.62% spread.

It can be a little hard to accurately track the relative distance between two lines that are each continually changing, so the graphic below shows just that distance. The top of the blue area is the yield curve spread; it begins at 2.62% at point “D” and falls to 1.26% by point “E.” The great reduction between points “D” and “E” is now visually obvious.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411616451828508.jpg

So, if there had been no change in yield curve spreads, and the 2-year Treasury had risen to 0.51% while the spread remained constant at 2.62%, then the 10-year Treasury yields would have had to have moved to 3.13%.

But they didn’t – the yield curve compressed by 1.36% (2.62% – 1.26%) between points “D” and “E,” and the compression can be seen in the growing size of the red area labeled “Cumulative Yield Curve Compression.” If we start with a 2.62% interest rate spread, and that spread falls to 1.26% (the blue area), then we have used up 1.36% (the red area) of the starting spread and it is no longer available for us.

The critical importance of this yield curve compression for homeowners and housing investors, as well as some REIT investors, can be seen in the graphic below:

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411616777403066.jpg

The top of the green area is the national average 30-year mortgage rate as reported weekly by Freddie Mac. That rate fell from 4.53% in the beginning of 2014 (point “D”) to 3.66% in late January of 2015.

But remember the tight relationship between the green and purple lines in the graph of all four yields / rates. Mortgage investors demand a spread above the 10-year Treasury, mortgage lenders will only lend at rates that will enable them to meet that spread requirement (and sell the mortgages), and therefore, it was the reduction in 10-year Treasury yields that drove the reduction in mortgage rates. And if the yield curve compression had not occurred, then neither would have the major reduction in mortgage rates.

As we saw in the “Running Out Of Room” graphic, the red area of yield curve compression increased by 1.36% between points “D” and “E.” If we simply take the red area of yield curve compression from that graph and we add it to the green area of actual mortgage rates, then we get what mortgage rates would have been with no yield curve compression (all else being equal).

With no yield curve compression, mortgage rates of 3.66% at point “E” would have been 5.02% instead (3.66% + 1.36% – 5.02%).

With a $176,766 mortgage in late January of 2015, a monthly P&I payment at a 3.66% rate is $810. (This is based on a national median home sale price for 2017 of $220,958 (per Zillow) and an assumed 80% mortgage LTV.)

At a 5.02% mortgage rate – which is what it would have been with no yield curve compression – the payment would have been $951. This meant that for any given size mortgage, monthly payments were reduced by 15% over the time period as a result of yield curve spread compression ($810 / $951 = 85%).

Now, at that time, housing prices were still in a somewhat fragile position. The largest decrease in home prices in modern history had just taken place between the peak year of 2006 and the floor years of 2011-2012. Nationally, average home prices had recovered by 9.5% in 2013, and then another 6.4% in 2014.

Here is a question to consider: Would housing prices have risen by 6.4% in 2014 if mortgage rates had not reduced monthly mortgage payments by 15%?

The Next Yield Curve Spread Compression

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411617409541132.jpg

Our next key period to look at is between points “E” and “G,” late January of 2015 to late August of 2016. We are now beginning a rising interest rate cycle when it comes to short-term rates. The Fed had done its first slow and tentative 0.25% increase in Fed Funds rates, and 2-year Treasury yields were up to 0.80%, which was a 0.29% increase.

All else being equal, when we focus on the yellow and red lines of short-term interest rates, mortgage rates should have climbed as well. (Graphs are repeated for ease of scrolling.)

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411617690603347.jpg

However, that isn’t what happened. After a brief jump upwards at point “F,” yield curve spreads had substantially fallen to 0.78% by point “G,” as can be seen in the reduction of the blue area above. For this to happen, the compression of yield curve spreads had to materially increase to 1.84%, as can be seen in the growth of the red area.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411618029250658.jpg

In the early stages of a cycle of rising interest rates (as part of the larger cycle of exiting the containment of crisis), mortgage rates did not rise, but fell from the very low level of 3.66% at point “E” to an even lower level of 3.46% at point “G,” as can be seen in the reduction of the green area.

To get that reduction in the green area during a rising interest rate cycle required a major growth in the red area of yield curve compression. To see what mortgage rates would have been without yield curve compression (all else being equal), we add the red area of cumulative yield curve compression of 1.84% to the green area of actual mortgage rates of 3.46% and find that mortgage rates would have been 5.30%.

Returning to our $176,766 mortgage example, the monthly mortgage payment (P&I only) is $790 with a 3.46% mortgage rate, and is $982 with a 5.30% mortgage rate. Yield curve compression was responsible for a 20% reduction in mortgage payments for any given borrowing amount by late August of 2016.

However, a problem is that by late August of 2016, the 1.84% cumulative cyclical compression of the yield curve meant that only 0.78% of yield curve spreads remained. A full 70% of the initial yield curve spread had been used up.

(Please note that the mortgage payments in this section of the analysis are calculated based on historical mortgage rates for the particular weeks identified. The annual average payments presented in the beginning of this analysis are the average of all weekly payment calculations for a given year, and therefore, do not correspond to any given week.)

Using Up The Rest Of The Fuel (Yield Curve Spreads):

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-1541161855409905.jpg

After its slow and tentative start, the Federal Reserve returned to 0.25% Fed Funds rate increases in December of 2016, and has kept up a much steadier pace since that time. As of October of 2018, Fed Funds rates are now up a total of 2% from their floor. As can be seen in the line graph of the yield curve over time, 2-year Treasury yields have also been steadily climbing and were up to 2.85% by point “J,” the week ending October 11th.

However, 10-year Treasury yields are not up by nearly that amount. By late August of 2018, 10-year Treasury yields were only up to 2.87%, which was 1.29% above where they had been two years before.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-15411618892487876.jpg

The difference can be found by looking at the very small amount of blue area left by point “J” – yield curve spreads were down to a mere 0.22% by the week ending August 29th, or less than one 0.25% Fed Funds rate increase. This meant that the red area of total cumulative yield curve compression was up to 2.40%, which means that 92% of the “fuel” that had been driving the compression profit engine had been used up – before the Fed’s 0.25% Fed Funds rate increase of September 2018.

As explored in much more detail in the previous analysis linked here, when the Federal Reserve raised rates for the eighth time in September, the yield curve did not compress. Such a compression could have been problematic, as the yield curve would have been right on the very edge of inverting, and there is that troubling history when it comes to yield curve inversions being such an accurate warning signal of coming recessions.

Instead, the short-term Fed Funds rate increase went straight through to the long-term 10-year Treasury yields, full force, with no buffering or mitigation of the rate increase by yield curve compression. The resulting shock as the 10-year Treasury yield leaped to 3.22% led to sharp losses in bonds, stocks and even emerging market currencies.

The same shock also passed through in mostly un-buffered form to the mortgage market via the demand for mortgage investors to be able to buy mortgages at a spread above the 10-year Treasury bond. Thirty-year mortgage rates leaped from 4.71% to 4.90%, an increase of 0.19%, and the highest rate seen in more than seven years.

(I’ve concentrated on the 2- to 10-year yield curve spread in this analysis to keep things simple, to correspond to the market norm for the most commonly tracked yield curve spread and because it has a strong explanatory power for the big picture over time. If one wants to get more precise (and therefore, quite a bit messier), there are also the generally much smaller spread fluctuations between 1) Fed Funds rates and 2-year Treasury yields; and 2) 10-year Treasury yields and mortgage rates.)

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-1541161992846963.jpg

When we look at the period between points “G” and “J,” it looks quite different than either of the previous periods we looked at. Mortgage rates have been rising, with the largest spike occurring at the time that the Federal Reserve proved it was serious about actually materially increasing interest rates with the Fed Funds rate increase of December 2016 (point “H”).

However, this does not mean that the money saving power of yield curve compression had lost its potency. Between points “D” and “J,” early January of 2014 and early October of 2018, average annual mortgage rates rose from 4.53% to 4.90%, as can be seen in the green area – which is an increase of only 0.37%. Meanwhile, the yield curve spread between the 2- and 10-year Treasuries was compressing from 2.62% to 0.29%, which was a yield curve compression of 2.33%. Adding the red area of cumulative yield curve compression to the green area of actual mortgage rates shows that current mortgage rates would be 7.23% if there had been no yield curve compression (all else being equal).

Mortgage principal and interest payments on a 30-year $176,766 mortgage with 4.90% interest rate are $938 per month, and they are $1,203 per month with a 7.23% mortgage rate. This means that yield curve compression has reduced the national average mortgage payment by about 22%.

Turning The Impossible Into The Possible:

This particular analysis is a specialized “outtake” from the much more comprehensive foundation built in the Five Graphs series linked here, which explores the cycles that have created a very different real estate market over the past twenty or so years.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/11/2/566013-1541162095131646.jpg

As developed in that series, as part of the #1 cycle of the containment of crisis, the attempts to cure the financial and economic damage resulting from the collapse of the tech stock bubble and the resulting recession, the Federal Reserve pushed Fed Funds rates down into an outlier range (shown in gold), the lowest rates seen in almost 50 years.

As part of the #3 cycle of the containment of crisis, in the attempt to overcome the financial and economic damage from the Financial Crisis of 2008 and the resulting Great Recession, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates even further into the golden outlier range, with near-zero percent Fed Funds rates that were the lowest in history.

By the time we reach early January of 2014 to late January of 2015, points “D” to “E,” Fed Funds rates were still where they had been the previous five to six years – near zero. Mathematically, there was no room to reduce interest rates, without the U.S. going to negative nominal interest rates.

But yet, mortgage rates fell sharply, from an already low 4.53% to an extraordinarily low 3.66%. This sharp reduction in rates transformed the housing markets and would steer extraordinary profits to homeowners and investors over the years that followed. However, none of it would have been possible without the compression of yield curve spreads.

Once the past has already happened, it is easy to not only take it for granted, but to internalize it and to make it the pattern that we believe is right and natural. Once this happens, the next natural step is to then either explicitly or implicitly project this assumed reality forward, as that trend line then becomes the basis for our financial and investment decisions.

However, where this natural process can run into difficulties is when what made the past possible becomes impossible. Yield curve spread compression took what would have been impossible – a plunge in mortgage rates even as short-term rates remained near a floor – and made it possible. But that pattern can’t repeat (at least not in that manner) when there is no longer the spread to compress.

Source: by Daniel Amerian | Seeking Alpha

Advertisements

Home Price Growth Slows Most Since 2011 As Case-Shiller Rolls Over

Amid the collapse on US home sales, as mortgage rates surge above 5.00%, August’s Case-Shiller home price data plunged to its weakest annual growth since Dec 2016, dramatically missing expectations).

Against expectations of a 5.80% YoY rise, August home prices rose 5.49% (slowing from July’s 5.90% YoY) to its weakest since Dec 2016…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30_6-02-10.jpg?itok=N0TP2Lt_

This is the biggest two-month slowdown in Case-Shiller home price growth since 2014…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30.png?itok=k6MAWHOy

On a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, home prices rose 5.77%, down from 5.99%, the lowest since June 2017.

And judging by mortgage rates, it’s about to get a whole lot worse…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30_6-12-59.jpg?itok=8UhvPbfH

Of course, the establishment is saying this is “contained”:

“Following reports that home sales are flat to down, price gains are beginning to moderate,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “There are no signs that the current weakness will become a repeat of the crisis, however.”

Las Vegas had the biggest annual increase at 13.9 percent, followed by San Francisco at 10.6 percent and Seattle at 9.6 percent,

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30%20%281%29.png?itok=vPBTu7Dq

But Seattle’s price appreciation slumped MoM…the biggest drop since Feb 2011…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30_6-23-32.jpg?itok=bTwOj3sb

Is it any surprise that home builder stocks have collapsed along with US housing data?

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018-10-30_5-58-59.jpg?itok=U2x9OqyF

Source: ZeroHedge

The “Rental Affordability Crisis” Explained In Three Charts

Four years ago, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) warned of “the worst rental affordability crisis ever,” citing data that:

“About half of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent, up from 18% a decade ago, according to newly released research by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Twenty-seven percent of renters are paying more than half of their income on rent.”

This is a significant problem for US consumers, and especially millennials, because as we have noted repeatedly over the past year, and a new report confirms, “rent increases continue to outpace workers’ wage growth, meaning the situation is getting worse.”

In the second quarter of 2017, median asking rents jumped 5% from $864 to $910. In the first half of 2018, they have remained at levels crushing the American worker.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Median%20Asking%20Rent%20for%20Vacant%20Units.jpg?itok=bFd4Hwut

While the surge in median asking rents has triggered an affordability crisis, new data now shows just how much a person must make per month to afford rent.

According to HowMuch.Net, an American should budget 25% to 30% of monthly income for rent, but as shown by the New Deal Democrat, workers are budgeting about 50% more of their salaries than a decade earlier. The report specifically looked at the nation’s capital, where a person must make approximately $8,500 per month to afford rent.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Rent%20map.png?itok=HHeBBKrU

In California, the state with the largest housing bubble, the monthly income to afford rent is roughly $8,300, followed by Hawaii at $7,800 and New York at $7,220.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Rent%20Map%202_0.png?itok=czp0y6sD

In contrast, the Rust Belt and the Southeastern region of the United States, one needs to make only $3,500 per month to afford rent.

“Based on the rule of applying no more than one-third of income to housing, people living in the Northeast must earn at least twice as much as those living in the South just to afford rent for what each market considers an average home,” HowMuch.net’s Raul Amoros told MarketWatch.

Which, however, is not to say that owning a house is a viable alternative to renting. In fact, as Goldman notes in its latest Housing and Mortgage Monitor, “buying is looking increasingly less affordable vs. renting with home prices growing faster than rents.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/goldman%20rental%20affordability.jpg?itok=nuiZGj-s

In short: the situation is not likely to improve in the short-term.

A sign of relief could be coming in the second half of 2019 or entering into 2020 when the US economy is expected to enter a slowdown, if not outright recession. This would reverse the real estate market, thus providing a turning point in rents that would give renters relief after a near decade of overinflated prices.

Source: ZeroHedge

San Francisco Bay Area Expats Are Driving Up Home Prices From Boise To Reno

In the not-too-distant future, it’s not improbable that low-wage laborers in San Francisco will be replaced by ubiquitous machines (the city is already home to the first restaurant run by a robot). And not just fast food workers, either – the jobs of teachers, fire fighters and law enforcement will all be assumed by robots, as NorCal’s prohibitively high cost of living and astronomical home prices spark a mass exodus of families earning less than $250,000 a year.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.10.24cali.JPG?itok=aZQnQjNE

While this scenario might seem like an exaggeration (and it very well might be), we’ve paid close attention to the flight of Californians who are abandoning the Bay Area for all of the reasons mentioned above, as well as what Peter Thiel (himself a Bay Area emigre) once described as a political “monoculture” that has made California inhospitable for conservatives. And as if circumstances weren’t already dire enough for would-be homeowners (even miles away from San Francisco, relatively modest homes still sell for upwards of $2 million), a report published earlier this year by realtor.com illustrated how a lapse in new home construction has led to a serious imbalance between home supply and the increasing demand of the state’s ever-growing population, leading to a cavernous supply gap.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.10.24california.jpg?itok=ltrugbRz

With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that Californians comprise a majority of the residents moving into other states in the American West – even states like Idaho where the culture is very different from the liberal Bay Area. This week, Bloomberg published a story about how Californians constitute an increasing share of out-of-state homebuyers in small cities like Boise, Phoenix and Reno, which are significantly more affordable than California, and offer some semblance of the walkable urban environment that nesting millennials crave.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.10.24maptwo.JPG?itok=fB95lYCO

As Californians sell their homes in the Bay Area in search of roomier, cheaper locales, they’re bringing the curse of surging property prices with them. In fact, the influx of Californians is the primary factor leading to some of the largest YoY price increases in the country, as Bloomberg explains:

About 29 percent of the Idaho capital’s home-listing views are from Californians, according to Realtor.com. Reno and Prescott, Ariz., also were popular. These housing markets are soaring while much of the rest of the country cools. In Nevada, where Californians make up the largest share of arrivals, prices jumped 13 percent in August, the biggest increase for any state, according to CoreLogic Inc. data. It was followed closely by Idaho, with a 12 percent gain.

Even in places like deep-red Idaho, these transplants are beginning to remake the terrain in their own image, as food co-ops and Women’s Marches starting to populate the landscape. Businesses are rushing to Boise to meet every desire of the newly arrived Cali transplants.

D’Agostino, the Bay Area transplant, isn’t ashamed of her progressive views and is finding her place: at the natural foods co-op downtown, the Boise’s Women’s March last year, and with the volunteer group she founded to collect unused food for the needy. But it was also good to get out of her comfort zone, she says. “I can’t remember a time when it’s ever been this divided, so the fact that I can have some interaction with people who might not have exactly the same beliefs as me, that’s fine,” she says. “As long as we can respect each other.”

It’s not new for politics to factor into moving decisions—it’s just that in the age of Trump, tensions get magnified. “What’s different now is how far apart the parties are ideologically,” says Matt Lassiter, a professor of history at the University of Michigan.

Politics aside, businesses are rushing into Boise to fill every West Coast craving. In nearby Eagle, the new Renovare gated community is selling 1,900- to 4,000-square-foot homes with floor-to-ceiling glass and “wine walls” that start at $650,000—a bargain by California standards, says sales agent Nik Buich. About half of buyers are from out of state, he says.

One couple even opened a “boutique taqueria” and another transplant is preparing to start a blog about his experience moving to Idaho.

Julie and John Cuevas left Southern California a year ago to open Madre, a “boutique taqueria” in Boise that would make many of their fellow transplants feel at home. It’s more fusion than typical Mexican fare, with taco fillings including kimchi short rib and the popular “Idaho spud & chorizo.” It would have cost them three times as much to open a restaurant in California, says John, a former chef at a Beverly Hills hotel.

John Del Rio, a real estate agent sporting a beard, baseball cap, and sunglasses, just registered moving2idaho.com, where he’s planning to blog about all the things that make his new home great. He left Northern California two years ago with his wife in search of a place with less crime, lighter regulation, and more open space. Del Rio, a conservative with a libertarian bent, is reassured to see average people walking through Walmart with handguns in their holsters. In Idaho, he says, “nobody even flinches.”

In Boise alone, Californians made up 85% of new arrivals, and have driven home prices up nearly 20% in the span of a year. One realtor described the attitude of transplants as like “they’re playing with monopoly money.”

Nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise (pop. 227,000) has drawn families for decades to its open spaces and short commutes. It’s been particularly attractive to Californians, who accounted for 85 percent of net domestic immigration to Idaho, according to Realtor.com’s analysis of 2016 Census data. While it has always prided itself on being welcoming, skyrocketing housing costs fueled by the influx is testing residents’ patience. In his state of the city speech last month, Mayor David Bieter outlined steps to keep housing affordable and asked Boise to stay friendly: “Call it Boise kind, our kindness manifesto,” he said.

It’s especially easy for buyers who have sold properties in the Golden State to push up prices in relatively cheap places because they feel like they’re playing with Monopoly money, Kelman says. The median existing-home price in Boise’s home of Ada County was $299,950 last month—up almost 18 percent from a year earlier, but still about half California’s. The influx is great news for people who already own homes in the area, says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “But if you’re a local aspiring to home ownership, it feels very much that Californians are bringing high prices with them.”

And now that Trump’s tax reform package has been implemented, it’s only a matter of time before a whole new batch of Californian home owners, unwilling to forego their SALT tax write offs, start looking for greener pastures in low-cost red states.

Source: ZeroHedge

SF Bay Area Realtor Caters To Mass Exodus Out Of The Region

A real estate brokerage near San Francisco is capitalizing on the mass exodus out of the Bay Area. 

https://d33wjekvz3zs1a.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/CAL-EXIT.gif

According to an April report by a Bay Area advocacy group, 46% of locals say they want to move out of the area within the next few years, citing the high cost of living and skyrocketing housing prices as main reasons for wanting out. In February, CBS San Francisco reported that the number of people packing up and leaving the Bay Area has reached its highest level in more than a decade. And fo the first time in ages, the number of people leaving are outnumbering the people coming in.

Meanwhile, a statewide poll conducted by UC Berkeley last year revealed that 56 percent of voters have considered moving due to the housing crisis – and 1 in 4 of those residents said they’d leave the state.

Some are already making good on that promiseData from earlier this year confirms that Sacramento is experiencing its highest rate of domestic migration in over a decade.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/state-migration_2_0.png?itok=Vaz6Zi9a

Catering to the exodus

To serve the real estate needs of soon-to-be former Bay Area residents, East-Bay broker Scott Fuller – a real estate broker of 18 years, launched LeavingTheBayArea.com, which helps clients design a relocation strategy. After helping clients sell their home “within a timeframe that works for you,” Fuller will “partner you up with a real estate specialist” in the desired destination city in order to perform an “in-depth needs analysis” in order to coordinate the move.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/exodus%20chart.png?itok=iuMQFTpJ

Fuller says that the majority of his clientele are retirees looking to cash out and move to cheaper pastures in areas such as Portland, Las Vegas, Reno, Dallas, Austin and cities in Arizona. Those looking to remain in California have been moving to Folsom and El Dorado Hills.

Source: ZeroHedge

Strategic Relocation: Are You Missing Out?

https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/homestead-780767_960_720.jpg?resize=960%2C560

The concept of strategic relocation is not new, but it’s recently become more popular, as more and more liberty-loving folks get tired of being crammed into crowded public transportation or spending hours on the road in the daily snail-pace commute. For many, the thought of leaving everything can be a bit terrifying, and if you have a family who doesn’t want to leave, you might be thinking that your Big Move is more of a pipe dream than a real possibility, even though you see the death grip on your everyday freedoms tightening by the day. Here’s the truth: it can be done. And yes, you can be amazingly happy in a new location that is more conducive to the type of life you want to live.

Just like changing your physical condition requires time, discipline, and effort, so does changing your permanent residence. Add to that a lot of planning, and you’ll see yet another reason why a lot of people don’t do it. Before we get into how to effectively and efficiently plan such a move, however, let’s look at why you might choose that path — or at least, why you’re probably interested in the idea. Over the next few days we’ll go through the process of aligning your thought process, getting down to brass tacks, and even what you should be doing when you get to your new location.

Why Move?

Maybe you live in a high-crime neighborhood. Contrary to what society will tell you these days, moving because you don’t want to deal with crime, homeless camps, drug addicts, or other social problems and vices does not make you a racist. If you want a safer environment for your family, then moving might be your best bet. When I first purchased my home in a quiet lake community north of Seattle, it was a great environment for my kid to grow up, with lots of opportunities. A few short years later, within a five block radius, there was a convicted rapist, a chop shop, a meth house, two shootings, and a hotbed of criminal activity on the next corner. That’s not counting the commute, which more than doubled in time due to exploding population. It was time to go, and I don’t regret making that move one bit. It was hard — and it continues to be. For us, it’s worth it, and we would never even consider leaving our little farm.

There is a long list of reasons why moving out of the city is an excellent choice; if you’re already considering it, then you’ve probably already thought of at least some of these:

  • Crowds
  • Crime
  • Traffic/Long commutes
  • Nosy neighbors
  • Inability to become truly sustainable
  • Lack of room for storing preps or other necessities
  • Higher prices and cost of living
  • Draconian HOAs and suburban “beautification” organizations
  • Gun laws
  • Overregulation, ordinances, taxes, levies, and all the related idiocy
  • Wanting to get your kids out of public schools
  • Lack of like-minded attitudes or political/religious ideals

Another thing you might be dealing with in your area is the locale’s natural disaster type. Everything is a trade, and while preparing for natural disaster is somewhat the same regardless of where you live, each area has its own specific challenges that you might not be okay with.

If you live in an urban or even suburban area, you might also find that you’re having a hard time finding people who believe as you do, whether that be your worldview, politics, or religious belief. Like it or not, harassment is a very real thing—and not in the ways the media would have you believe. Being liberty-minded, religious, or even just the wrong color in certain areas can get you in big trouble—and that goes for anyone. Regardless of what race you are, there are places you aren’t welcome.

The reasons to move are many, and the bottom line is that you don’t need to justify those reasons to anyone. What matters is what’s best for you and your family, and if that means pulling stakes, then so be it. If you’re set on moving, let’s talk about how to make it happen.

Choosing a Location

Once you’ve outlined your reasons for moving (thereby outlining what you’d need in a new location), you’ll need to figure out where to go. Do you just move to a different neighborhood? Out of the city into a nearby suburb? Do you stay in the same state but move to a rural locale? Or do you go all out and move to a different part of the country?

A lot of this will depend on what your reasons for moving are. If state gun laws are an issue for you, for instance, then you’ll probably need to move out of state. If you just want to be able to see your kids go to a less violent or better school, you may be able to get away with just moving to a different neighborhood. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at homesteading, you’ll be looking at states where that’s being done successfully.

If you use social media, you can look at groups that are local to the area you’re interested in moving to, to get a feel for the culture. Read their local paper, maybe even pull up the radio frequencies for their local police and fire and listen to the type of calls they’re dealing with on a daily basis. Are they getting a lot of overdoses? Shootings? What area of the town or county are the calls coming from? Are they places you can avoid? Is the crime location-based (such as a specific block or business) or is it widespread all over the county? If you notice over the course of a few weeks of paying attention that a specific street gets a lot of calls, or maybe the cops get called to a certain bar for fights, you can avoid that problem by simply not going to that location.

Look up the laws in your proposed new locale and see what’s considered legal and what’s not. You may very well choose to ignore certain laws in your quest for more freedom, but you should at least be able to make an informed decision about what you’re choosing, and what the potential consequences are so you can mitigate any potential fallout.

Check the county zoning laws and building permit requirements, too. One person I know found the perfect off-grid home—only to find that it was sitting just on the wrong side of the county line, in a location where the county wanted permits for everything and lots of taxes and fees. They chose to pass on that house and went to a county where there are no building permits, and no one cares what they do on their land.

Before choosing a location, you can also pull up all manner of data on everything from average income and education level to demographics, home prices, economic growth, and anything else you’d like to know. It all depends on what kinds of information you seek, and whether you’re willing to do the research. You’re never going to find the perfect place; you can, however, find something that fits the non-negotiables. Check out the local weather too, and keep in mind what will be expected in that area. Are you choosing a place with hard winters? Super-hot summers? Higher altitude? Before you throw out the idea of living in a place with rough winter, for instance, keep in mind that there are positives to everything. Snow runoff, for instance, can help you water your garden months later during a drought if you’ve thought ahead in terms of collection. And after the busyness of spring and summer, you’ll look forward to winter, when you have a freezer full of meat, shelves and root cellar packed with food, enough firewood to keep the house warm, and lots of time to work on indoor projects or study new skills in preparation for spring thaw.

One more thing—be aware of any tourist attractions, natural wonders, or other curiosities in your area. They draw crowds and everything that goes with them. You might have your heart set on living in the mountains of Wyoming—only to later realize that you moved too close to Yellowstone National Park and now have tens of thousands of people clogging your local area for half the year.

Taking the Next Step

Once you’ve decided on a location (or at least narrowed it down to 2), it’s time to talk funding. Look at average rents/mortgage payment amounts. You may need to rent a smaller place until you can buy. You may want a bit of land to raise animals. You may choose to live remotely or in a small town near a larger area. If your ultimate goal is to get as off-grid as possible, understand that you’re not going to want to go directly from an urban or suburban environment directly to a place where you have no electricity and have to haul water. You and your family will get frustrated very fast, and you’ll be tempted to move back. Start small; rent a place with a well and power.

Above all, be realistic about how it’ll be. The first year is really, really hard. The second year is a bit easier but it’s still difficult. Don’t be tempted to show up and assume you’ll be able to be fully sustainable within a year. You’ll learn some hard lessons; those lessons, however, will not only make you stronger, but you’ll find that you’re able to adapt better for the next situation. You’ll learn to use what you have instead of running to the store for everything. Depending on where you end up, you may find that certain times of the year require you to prepare, or forego certain activities in favor of making your life easier later. You’ll learn that at least part of each season is spent preparing for the next one, or getting done various tasks that need doing. There’s a routine to it, however, and over time you’ll also find that you are emotionally attached and invested in your homestead. It’s something you’ve worked on and sweated over, and it helps you survive. If you can find your spot in a state or area that is also more liberty-minded than where you are, you’re doubly blessed.

If you’ve read this far and aren’t interested in taking the leap of faith, that’s fine too — there are those who believe that freedom can be found anywhere. Ultimately, it’s your choice, and you don’t have to defend that to anyone either. For those who can smell the fresh air and imagine a different life for yourself and your family, however, stay tuned. Tomorrow we’ll talk about where you’ll find the money to make it happen.

Source: by Kit Perez | American Partisan

“Largest Ever Homeless Camp” Suddenly Appears In Minneapolis

The Associated Press (AP) has revealed a troubling story of the largest ever homeless encampment site mostly made up of Native Americans has quickly erected just south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

City officials are scrambling to contain the situation as two deaths in recent weeks, concerns about disease and infection, illicit drug use and the coming winter season, have sounded the alarm of a developing public health crisis.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Homelessness.png?itok=7iP_da9A

“Housing is a right,” Mayor Jacob Frey said. “We’re going to continue working as hard as we can to make sure the people in our city are guaranteed that right.”

The AP said approximately 300 people are living in the camp that is situated beside 16th Ave S & E Franklin Ave.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/homeless%20location.png?itok=gZ0oGSlR

Earlier this month, a team of AP reporters visited the camp and found dozens of tents lining the city street.

To their amazement, most of the residents were Native American.

The homeless camp — called the “Wall of Forgotten Natives” because it lined a highway sound barrier, is in a section of the city with a large concentration of American Indians that are suffering from extreme wealth, health, and education inequality. The AP said the tents stand on what was once considered Dakota land.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Homelessness3.png?itok=b4cPdOeN

“They came to an area, a geography that has long been identified as a part of the Native community. A lot of the camp residents feel at home, they feel safer,” said Robert Lilligren, vice chairman of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors.

The camp illuminates the inequalities (mentioned above) that face American Indians in the state. AP provides a shocking statistic that American Indians make up 1.1% of Hennepin County’s residents, but 16% of the homeless population, according to government data from April.

It is also a community that is being decimated by opioids. Minneapolis officials in July sued a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging their actions to promote prescription opioid drugs, such as OxyContin, have caused an addiction crisis straining the city’s resources.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/Drone%20view%20of%20homeless.png?itok=sbI0VJXO

AP said one end of the camp had been designated for families, while adults — some of whom were high on drugs — were on the other end. In the middle, an organization called Natives Against Heroin, a tent where volunteers handed out bottles of water, food, and clothing. The group also provides addicts with clean needles, and most volunteers carry naloxone to treat overdoses.

“People are respectful,” said group founder James Cross. “But sometimes an addict will be coming off a high… We have to de-escalate. Not hurt them, just escort them off. And say “Hey, this is a family setting. This is a community. We’ve got kids, elders. We’ve got to make it safe.”

With hundreds of people living in close quarters, health officials fear an outbreak of infectious diseases like hepatitis A. Local support groups have started administering vaccines. Earlier this month, a woman died when she did not have an asthma inhaler, and one man died from a drug overdose.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/homelessness4.png?itok=VIZV3thD

Local government agencies have set up areas to provide medical assistance, antibiotics, hygiene kits or other supplies. There are tents advertising free HIV testing, a place to apply for housing, and temporary showers. Portable restrooms and hand-sanitizing stations had also been positioned around the camp.

The Minneapolis City Council voted Wednesday to move the camp to a 1.5-acre commercial property owned by the Red Lake Nation. The decision came five days after Mayor Jacob Frey and representatives of ten tribes said the industrial site was the best place to relocate the tent city.

The new site at 2105-2109 Cedar Ave. South will not be ready until December because demolition work will take several months, according to David Frank, the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development director.

“We will go as quick as we can to have the interim navigation center operational and ready,” Frank said. “We have our permitting people standing by. We have our housing team, our facilities team and our projects management all lined up to do this work.”

The cost of preparing the site with living accommodations for dozens of people will be between $2 million and $2.5 million, Frank added.

Minneapolis’ homeless explosion comes as no surprise. The much larger trend at play is the nation’s homeless population increasing for the first time since 2010 — driven by housing affordability issues, and widening inequalities. But do not tell President Trump the real economy continues to deteriorate.

In 40 different venues over the last three months, President Trump declared the economy is the greatest, the best or the strongest in US history.

— Trump, in a speech at a steel plant in Illinois, July 26

“This is the greatest economy that we’ve had in our history, the best.”

— Trump, in a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Aug. 21

“You know, we have the best economy we’ve ever had, in the history of our country.”

— Trump, in an interview on “Fox and Friends,” Aug. 23

“It’s said now that our economy is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country, and you just have to take a look at the numbers.”

— Trump, in remarks on a White House vlog, Aug. 24

“We have the best economy the country’s ever had and it’s getting better.”

In a recent, Bank of America note titled “The Thundering World,” a major theme in development for the 2020s could be “the epic wealth inequality” that is plaguing the economy.

BofA says quantitative easing amplified income and wealth inequality over the last decade. The distribution of wealth is the widest ever. The top 1% own 40% of the global wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%.

What does this all mean? Well, decades of failed economic and social policies are about to come home to roost. The explosion of homelessness in Minneapolis over a short period, is an example of the breakdown of the social fabric that will strain many more municipalities across the country in the years ahead. The America that we knew will not be the same by 2030.

Source: ZeroHedge